It’s easy to see why many secular types consider Christian music a joke. Badly produced, pre-programmed Casio backbeats and plastic saxophones providing the soundtrack to a holier-than-thou message inspires snickers and winces from even those least jaded. OKC’s Soul Williams aims to and succeeds in knocking some sense into that rightfully stereotyped scene.
Three volumes in and A Blackwatch Christmasyet again nabs a spot on the nice list, showcasing a smattering of Oklahoma artists with charming new holiday standards. This year shakes up the status quo with two themed halves — serving up dusty, countrified Christmas ditties on the Holly-Tonk side and soulful hip-hop carols with Jingle Beats, both with joyful returns.
It has been a relatively rocky road for Weatherford alt-country outfit Green Corn Revival, which has seen its share of highs (acting as backing band for rockabilly icon Wanda Jackson) and lows before an (amicable) split in the road led half of the original lineup to forming Honeylark.
Oklahoma is quickly becoming the indie Christmas music capital of the world, it seems, with yearly compilation albums featuring everyone from Stardeath and White Dwarfs to Graham Colton. So it makes sense that Colourmusic — freak-poppers hailing from Stillwater — would craft a full album of original, offbeat holiday tunes themselves.
The Oklahoma City metro has a thriving garage rock scene. With seasoned acts like Broncho and Copperheads carrying the modern-day torch, the way has been paved for a flock of gritty, young, guitar-centric acts. But nascent Norman trio Poolboy has a knack for riotous hooks that few of its contemporaries can boast.
Chromeo with Breakbot and Mayer Hawthorne 7 p.m. Friday Cain's Ballroom 423 N. Main, Tulsa cainsballroom.com 918-584-2306 $27
Search “David Macklovitch” on Tumblr, and the fawning, meme-ified desires of early 20s, Urban Outfittersshopping hipsters will assault your laptop like a splotchy Moog synthesizer riff — the kind that Chromeo uses to build chart-occupying, electrofunk bangers.
Macklovitch (or “Dave 1,” as the duo’s smooth-voiced singer and guitarist goes by) and his best friend, Patrick Gemayel (aka P-Thugg), started the band in Montreal after working as hip-hop producers. Chromeo’s independently produced 2004 debut, “She’s in Control,” was received with incredulity by many critics for its unabashed embrace of ’80s-pop synthesizers, dated drum machines, talk boxes and titles like “Destination: Overdrive.”
“Our whole first album is shit.Well, not all of it. But like, half of it,” Macklovitch said. “We were never in a major-label incubator, we never had producers come in and tell us how to do shit. We learned in front of everybody. But we had ‘Needy Girl,’ and that was like a passport to the next thing.”
That eventually led to a deal with Atlantic Records, which distributed their third album, the yearold “Business Casual.” The record uncanned “Control”’s kitschier elements, opening Chromeo up to more elaborate and expansive production. The funk guitar grooves swelled, the synths glittered brighter, and the electronic textures seemed more tangible.
In other words, they grabbed hold of the least genuine music ever produced and blasted off into the stratosphere. Such irony; no wonder the hipsters love them for “Needy Girl” and “Fancy Footwork,” the songs that earned them marquee spots at festivals all over, including the recent Austin City Limits Music Festival.
“Those are true anthems in the blog/Urban Outfitters/American Apparel world,” Macklovitch said. “Some people think we’re like Andy Samberg or something. But we’ll go and tear it up out there.”
Typical of a pop artist, he is already eyeing the next thing, which will be Chromeo’s second major-label release. He thinks out loud about what he wants to improve upon from previous records — namely, his singing and guitar-playing. But unlike many kindred spirits before him, he realizes how immediately listeners can latch on to a pop song and quickly turn it into something else entirely these days.
“I put it out into the world, it’s not mine anymore,” he said. “It’s not for me. It’s for other people.”